Continuous monitoring of sweat can reveal valuable information about human health such as the body's glucose levels.
The researchers from Penn State University in the US have now created a new wearable sensor with a laser-modified graphene nanocomposite material.
"Sweat is ideal for real-time, continuous and non-invasive biomarker detection. But low biomarker concentration levels in sweat and variability of other factors such as pH, salinity and temperature have pushed previous sweat biosensors past the limits of their detection and accuracy," said principal investigator Huanyu "Larry" Cheng.
"This device is able to account for this variability while measuring glucose with needed specificity for weeks at a time," Cheng added in a paper published in the journal Advanced Functional Materials.
By heating the gold and silver alloy nanocomposite material with a simple laser treatment, Cheng said the material also resists "agglomeration" (a mass or collection of things).
The device allows for the calibration of glucose measurements based on fluctuations in sweat, pH and body temperature from activities such as exercise and eating.
Worn as a patch roughly twice the width of a postage stamp and affixed to the skin with adhesive tape, it can wirelessly communicate its collected data to a computer or mobile device for real-time monitoring and analysis.
"The result of our work is a sensor with the notable sensitivity and stability to monitor glucose levels over multiple weeks," Cheng said.
"It is a low-cost platform offering convenient, accurate and continual analysis of sweat in diverse conditions, which has great potential for individual and population health, personalised medicine and precision nutrition," he added. IANS/KB